The Randies Transformer
It was so stressful being girls! People called us Formica’s bitches.
We were cute, shy, melancholic and working in a ‘guy’s World’. Taken seriously? We just didn’t know – all those randy boys wanking off in the men’s room between our sets at Mildred’s Palace. Hard to tell what they really thought about.
We wanted to be like them – strong, arrogant, smelly…and fighters!
We were not going to be anybody’s bitches any more – so we started a secret kitty with funds from shows we played on the sly and selling our paintings and drawings.
Whatever we saved up would be matched by our parents, although we swore them to secrecy. It would all pay for a trip to a secret location in Seattle where the transformation would begin. It was going to take some time and would be painful and humiliating, we were warned.
So, we changed our name to the neoboys and began the process. All the while we became more famous, more glamourous and more fraught with a spider-webby melancholy – the kind that catches dew as well as flies and wafts in the gentle breezes flashing needles of sunlight deep into the brains of post-pubescent boys. We were stars!
The waiting became unbearable; the secret plans to change and become…something else. “Are we not men? We are ‘randy Guys’!” Silliness and fun. It was all such serious silliness and fun.
In December of 1978 we rented a second practice space from Patrick and Formica found us better instruments from Capn. Whizeagle. She was a genius. And, as the hormones kicked in, started us on our PSYCHIC transformation: covering ‘Forming’ and ‘Sweet Jane’ by the great and all-powerful demi-gods, Darby and Lou. We had to learn how to play all over again. Forming became the mantra, the prayer, the formula to our emergence as players in a ‘guys World’.
We began to write songs about ‘guy things’: politics, death, insanity, or, just horsing around building scary snowmen, big shiny cars and spying on girls brushing their hair. Sometimes we would grow peach-fuzz whiskers just for fun – just because we could.
We had arrived and decided, together, as ‘guys’, that we were randy ones. So the obvious moniker: Randy and the Randies. And we were all in love with Formica – as all randy boys were.
Randy and the Randies: Jennifer Lobianco, Randy Moe, Steve Lee Reade and Philip Zimmerman were a Portland band in existence from 1979 to 1982. Super-obscure and defying easy catagorization, they are of the Portland music lineage traced back through Jennifer to Formica and the Bitches, the Neoboys, becoming the strange little brother band to these more famous underground greats.
The Beauty Project, 1982
Philip’s studio was in the same building on 13th Street in SW Portland where the Kingsmen recorded the legendary, “Louie Louie”, on April 6,1963 in the Northwestern Inc., Motion Pictures and Recording Studio. Many of the Randies recording were made in this same location including the last Beauty project.
The Beauty soundtrack was the last project The Randies completed before permanently disbanding in late 1982. It is credited as being by Some. The recording was made in Philip’s studio on SW13th Street in Portland with an 8-track recorder rented from Tom Robinson Studios. The musician line-up was Randy Moe on percussion; Steve Lee Reade, guitar and vocals; Philip Zimmerman bass and vocals; Eric Stotik, guitar; Leonard McCain, guitar and vocals; Dee Dee Streets, additional vocals.
The idea was to create a soundtrack for a fictitious film. The storyboard created by Philip was formed of a grid of 25 8×10 B/W photographs taken by Janice Morlan, artist and photographer, who was also extensively documenting the Portland music scene at that time. The project was exhibited at Portland Center for the Visual Arts in late 1982 along with other works by Philip including his first version of his graphic nighmare, Cezar Boo. The soundtrack was played continuously during the exhibition – the intention for it being a sort of infernal and eventually annoying elevator muzak.
The Beauty playlist:
- Soundscape I
- Jenny North (the hardcore song), written and sung by Philip Z
- Lady Tulip (the pop song), lyrics by Philip Z, music by Philip and Leonard McCain, vocals by Leonard
- Soundscape II
- Edie Song (the ballad), written and sung by Philip Z
- Soundscape III
- Saraphene (the slo-disco-art song), written and sung by Steve Lee Reade
Aside from one spot of radio play in 1981 for a recording of Birds and Jungle Cakewalk and the PCVA exhibition in 1982 there has been no release of any material by Randy and the Randies nor the later (sans Jennifer Lobianco), The Randies, even though recordings do exist.